Mauritania to hand over ex-spy chief to Libya

Last Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 00:48

Nouakchott: Mauritania will hand over one of
Muammar Gaddafi`s closest associates, former Libyan
intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senoussi, for trial in his home
country, a Libyan official said on Wednesday.

"The Mauritanian government has given their agreement for
the extradition of Abdullah al-Senoussi to Libya so he can be
judged by a fair process," said Libyan spokesman Nasser
al-Manei.

He did not say when the move might happen, but said the
Libyan delegation had visited al-Senoussi in his cell in
Mauritania`s capital and confirmed his identity.

The former intelligence chief is accused of attacking
civilians during the uprising in Libya last year and of the
1989 bombing of a French airliner. He was considered Gaddafi`s
"black box" and known to be among his inner circle of
confidants. He was also the ousted leader`s brother-in-law.
Al-Senoussi was detained Saturday in Mauritania.
The International Criminal Court, France and Libya have
all said they want to prosecute al-Senoussi.

He is wanted in Libya for a number of crimes, including
his alleged role in the Abu Salim prison massacre of more than
1,200 prisoners by Gaddafi`s regime in 1996.

Judges at the Netherlands-based ICC issued an arrest
warrant for al-Senoussi last June on two counts of crimes
against humanity murder and persecution for allegedly
masterminding attacks on civilians in the early days of the
uprising that eventually toppled Gaddafi from power.
Mauritania is not a member of the court.

The court also indicted Gaddafi but the ousted leader was
killed by rebel fighters in October. Libyan authorities say
they want to put Seif al-Islam, one of Gaddafi`s sons, on
trial at home instead of turning him over him to the court.

Libyan officials are currently holding Seif al-Islam, who
was arrested in November by fighters in Libya`s remote
southern desert. The former heir apparent has been held
largely without access to the outside world ever since.

France convicted al-Senoussi and five other Libyans in
absentia and sentenced them to life in prison in France for
the 1989 bombing of a passenger jet over Niger that killed all
170 people on board including 54 French people. The French
government asked last year that he be handed over to France
when captured.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 23:02

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